Disney adventure using a mixture of live action and CGI animation to tell the story of a team of secret agent guinea pigs which has been trained in espionage techniques and armed with the latest high-tech spy equipment in order to take on a covert mission for the US government. The team, known by code-name 'G-Force', includes ambitious squad leader Darwin (voiced by Sam Rockwell), fearless weapons expert Blaster (Tracy Morgan) and lithe martial arts genius Juarez (Penelope Cruz). Also along for the ride is Darwin's housefly sidekick Mooch and computer whiz Speckles (Nicolas Cage), a star-nosed mole. Can the gang prevent evil billionaire Leonard Saber (Bill Nighy) from taking over the world with a dastardly plan involving household appliances?
just might be the best Jerry Bruckheimer action film in many a moon. The film is exuberant, and its premise--don't think big
for an animated caper film, think small
--brilliantly upends the more-bigger-faster trope of American action films… with cute, little, furry guinea pigs.
Bruckheimer, the action genius behind the likes of the Pirates of the Caribbean, Con Air, The Rock, Armageddon, and many more, here teams with visual effects maestro Hoyt Yeatman, who writes and directs. The combo is potent, and the fact that they streamed their blow-'em-up vision through a film about tiny rodents saving the world makes the whole confection a hilarious family-friendly experience as well as a satisfying action adventure. The premise isn't earth-shattering: oddball, unexpected heroes are called on to save the day (Men in Black, Underdog, etc.). But the lowly guinea pig has been long overdue to get its moment in the spotlight. And now the free world knows whom it can really trust. The film mixes the animated heroes with real-life actors, including the sardonic British character actor Bill Nighy, who plays an evil mogul out to take over and/or destroy the world. The U.S. government, it turns out, has been nurturing a special squad for occasions just such as this. It's just that it's been nurturing them in small pens with wood shavings on the floor and running wheels for exercise. Will Arnett, deadpan and spot-on, plays the human agent who has the unenviable task of wrangling the guinea pig G-Force, and is a deft foil for the bad guys as well as for the mini-heroes.
But the true powerhouse acting belongs to those giving voices to the guinea pig agents, including Sam Rockwell, Penélope Cruz, Steve Buscemi, and, as the voice of a domesticated layabout, Jon Favreau. The film's standout, though, is Tracy Morgan, whose Agent Blaster is bellicose, fearless, and as full of malapropisms as Morgan's character on 30 Rock. (In fact, the viewer keeps half-expecting Blaster to turn to Cruz's female agent, Juarez, and yell "Liz Lemon!") G-Force is full of belly laughs for kids, as well as their action-film-fan parents. --A.T. Hurley
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